Chapter 17 A Good Deed a Day
Helping others makes us feel good, and we should do it more often. It could be as simple as a smile, or more involved, like volunteering.
One of the stories I loved in this chapter was by Shannon Anderson. Her story "A Deed a Day" is from Chicken Soup for the Soul: Find Your Happiness.
Basically, Shannon found her family was getting a little too self involved. They only seemed to care about their own tasks and concerns. She started a family journal in which each member of the family was to document a good deed they had done each day.
A good deed was defined as doing something unexpected for someone else, family or outside the home. Shannon found it made a big difference, as each family member began the day wondering what they could do for someone else, rather than thinking only of themselves.
She expanded the project to include her classroom. The class, as a whole, tried to do three good deeds a day.
There were other examples in the chapter, and the Editor, Amy Newmark, ends by commenting that a good deed, once it is done, isn't really over and done...it multiplies into other heartfelt deeds as the goodness travels.
Good deeds are contagious. And I can see this in my own life. Last week my brother went to a great deal of effort to take me to an out of town doctor's appointment. We had a good day, a lot of laughs, but still, he did a massive amount of driving, in what was not the best weather.
Today I spoke to my 89 year old neighbor, and found her sick with a chest cold. I immediately decided to make her soup, (must have chicken soup on the brain) but though I had chicken, I didn't have vegetables. I settled for tuna casserole and made muffins, from a mix to keep it simple.
I buy individual pods for my Keurig, and know she uses the refill method, so gave her a dozen pods so she didn't have to fuss and clean her refill 'thingie'. I gathered everything up, added a couple of Nora Roberts books and a couple of cans of soup and I was done.
She was very appreciative, and a bit overwhelmed. She has children, but they do not live local, and as she doesn't drive, she can often feel isolated and confined. I frequently take her to the store with me, and save her the difficulty of taking the bus, or the cost of a taxi.
Earlier in the week she took me out for lunch, as a thank you for all the times I've run her around doing errands. I felt appreciated, which is the benefit of good deeds, right?
I was not expecting, when I gave her the goodies today, that she would burst into tears. I know how upsetting it can be to feel alone and be sick. Everyone needs that bit of special attention, that caring, that tells them they are not alone.
Whatever good I did for her today rebounded...I feel pretty good myself right about now.